Tag: recycled

A cardboard play town perfect for kids, and rebels who like turquoise houses.

Between the heatwaves and the crazy downpours, I feel like we’ve been getting more use out of our creative indoor toys this summer than our scooters. And now here’s one more that I’m just smitten with, because it’s more than just a building kit. [don’t miss an exclusive discount code after the jump] The recycled cardboard Paper Town craft kit is just wonderful. It comes with four perforated sheets that allow your kids to punch out, fold, and insert tabs to create their own little town complete with a cafe, bus station, department store and market. I love that...

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The coolest birthday dresses, now 100% for charity

This October, my youngest daughters will be turning 4 and 2 and as part of our family tradition, they will be wearing hand-me-down Courtney Courtney kids’ dresses. We first featured them in 2008 on Cool Mom Picks, and designer Courtney Chu has since remained one of our all time favorite indie designers, period. Well now, she’s decided to use her now hugely popular birthday dresses to raise money for charity. And we’re in love all over again. If you’re not familiar with her work, Courtney whips recycled t-shirts and fabrics and turns them into the most amazing dresses unlike...

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Tree swings like they used to make them

One of my children’s very favorite thing about Grandma’s house is the the swing in the backyard. We are city-dwellers after all, and swings are generally something you have to wait in line for. This one started as a little baby swing hanging from a sturdy tree branch, evolved to a tire swing, and who knows what it will become after that. Maybe even this beautiful, totally handmade swing. The handmade tree swing from Philly woodworkers Margaux and Walter Kent is totally made of reclaimed wood and each one is made to order. The one in the photo is...

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A cool passport holder – you won’t believe what it’s made out of.

Not everyone gets excited about cool passport holders. But I do. While I’m not the most organized of people in my normal, day-to-day life, I turn into an organizational queen when my family travels, so I’m always on the lookout for organizational tools so amazing, I might actually get to relax a little. All the better if said tools are upcycled and totally gorgeous. Poketo’s Upcycled Leather Passport Holders will do the job quite nicely. These sleek cases are handmade entirely from leather of vintage sofas. Cool right? The results are textured collages, and no two are the same. Kind of a...

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A bag that will weather the storm

When shopping for the perfect bag, I always look for something that is unique, pretty and durable. While unique and pretty are important qualities, durability goes a long way with me. As a mom, I don’t have time to shop constantly, so when I make that purchase I want it to last a long time. Sea Bags is a home-grown Maine based business that makes bags, totes, baby bags and now memory books out of recycled sail-cloth. Their adorable baby bags are decorated with boats, stars or anchors. They have six interior pockets and one outside pocket making them...

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And for its next trick, PlanToys will turn sawdust into toys

Long before it was considered the “right thing to do”, one of our favorite toy companies, PlanToys was making imaginative, eco-friendly toys in cool, modern shapes and bright colors. While they’ve pushed the standards in environmentally friendly business practices over the past 30+ years, we are so impressed by their latest innovation. With over two tons of rubberwood sawdust generated daily, PlanToys has come up with a brilliant solution to what has always been just “waste.” They take the sawdust and squish it together under such great pressure that it creates a solid material which only needs a wee...

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Pop culture junkies, your finger puppets await

So I’m a sucker for everything handmade with a nerd-chic pop culture reference built in. It’s like three of my favorite things all in one glorious, slightly weird package. And the handmade finger puppets from Abbey Christine fit the bill perfectly.  I mean, where else can an NPR fan find an Ira Glass finger puppet? Or most of Wes Anderson’s characters from Max Fischer to Steve Zissou? They’re all free hand cut from recycled felt, giving them that perfectly imperfect handmade look. Keep them in mind as a great inexpensive little gift for your coolest indie friend. I was...

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thredUP’s new Concierge service – the easiest way to resell your kids outgrown clothes

It is a sad moment when I put a barely worn outfit on one of my kids and realize they’ve outgrown it before they’ve even had a chance to spill something on it. But now the smart people at online clothes-swapping site thredUP have come out with a new service that’s perfect for parents who love buying their kids cute clothes, but hate when they’re outgrown. Let’s just say it’s not so bad knowing your kids outgrow their clothes when you can get paid for them.  {keep reading for a chance to access this service before it goes live...

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A blue letter J makes it a red letter day

O, G. Can it B? Y, yes, I can C that a rainbow of letters is waiting for U. Seriously, though. Aren’t these recycled felt letter pillows too adorable for words? The Personalized Letter Pillows from MableDear on Etsy are big, snuggly, and sewn of felt made from recycled plastic bottles. Each letter is handmade of bright felt on cream with a cute, letter-appropriate shape on back. J is for Jellyfish, A is for Apple, and E is for Elephant. And we think that’s totally C-U-T-E. If you want, have them customized for a few bucks more in peacock...

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Expensive fashion for those with more modest wallets

Designer clothes tend to be timeless and well made — I guess that is why the magazines call it “investment dressing.” However, the reality is that most moms simply cannot afford to invest thousands of dollars on one article of clothing, no matter how timeless and chic it is. Even if we want it really, really bad, and it would look super cute on us. Yes, you could always hit up the consignment shops — but who has time to do that with kids in tow? And of course, there’s eBay, but how do you know that item you...

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Beautiful ornaments with a past life.

Garfield has never been called elegant, nor is Snoopy considered stylish. And yet, in the right hands, the Sunday comics are being transformed into stunning holiday ornaments. The Sea Urchin Recycled Newspaper Ornament from kissadesign on Etsy is a fun new twist on traditional Polish folk art. In fact, the artist’s family has been hand-creating such decorations for over fifty years. This is serious crafting–each ornament includes eighty meticulously hand-formed points for a delicate and celestial look. Hang them from a tree, dangle them from a chandelier at a party, or even use them for a year-round splash of...

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Shop. Get deals. Give back. Why we love Pure Citizen.

Oh, honey. You know we love our flash deal sites. Gilt for designer duds? Check! Fab for home goods? Totally! Little Rue for kids? Please! Ideeli for splurges? You get the picture. And it goes on. But this one has a unique twist that makes our hearts feel as light as our wallets. It’s called Pure Citizen, and it’s making the world a better place through shopping. Pure Citizen works like similar deal sites–daily curated collections of goods that are available for a very limited time. But here’s the twist: everything on the site is carefully vetted to be...

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Furniture even a kid can build

I love family projects that are truly intended for the whole family. You know, instead the kind where on parent works (and gets frustrated), the other parent helps (and offers constructive advice), and the kids sit waiting impatiently. Sprout, a US based modern furniture company now offers families the opportunity to do just, that with a crafty new line of convertible kids furniture. The concept is simple–great accent or playroom pieces made from recycled wood that your child can actually help put together with (ta-da!) not a single tool. Watch their video tutorials and you’ll see,  it’s almost like putting...

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You recycle, you upcycle…and now you can Hipcycle

There is nothing that gets my inner MacGyver going more than upcycling. The creativity it takes to see something useful in a random everyday object–love it, not to mention the fact it can be an earth-friendlier way to shop. It totally explains my current bag of choice: it’s woven out of seatbelts and utterly indestructible, no matter how many leaking sippy cups are in it. It’s also the best conversation starter practically ever.  So this brand-new upcycling site has got 100% of my attention. The just-launched Hipcycle has some of the coolest upcycled gear I’ve seen in a long time–all...

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DIY: animal storage jars from all those figurines lying around

I am so not a crafty mom. I’ve said it a zillion times. But this here tutorial is so easy, and the results so awesome, even I can do it. The animal craft jar project idea at House to Home is literally as easy as gathering up all those animal figurines you’ve got lying around (I know you have them), gluing them to a recycled glass jar lid, and spray painting them a bright color. Let dry, then fill with all your kids’ craft supplies. I might suggest using a plastic jar (think the whopping jars of mayonnaise) and...

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Once place to find Missoni for less, that isn’t Target

Maternity wear is a tricky thing. Looking like a slob for nine months is not what most of us want. On the other hand, spending a ton of cash on clothes with such a short shelf life can seem like a big old waste. The answer might be in a new online boutique offering designer maternity clothes on consignment–including everyone’s favorite designer of 2011, Missoni. Encore Maternity was founded by a celebrity stylist/mom who was faced with that same pregnancy fashion conundrum. She wanted to look chic during those nine months, but still wanted to save up for her...

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Back to school shopping – green school supplies

 We’ve always had a heart for green school supplies for our kids, ever since we knew such a thing even existed.While they’ll never be as cheap as what you find at the big mall stores, grab a couple you love and teach the kids a lesson in eco-conservation right in their own backpacks. Recycled Cardboard Pencil SharpenersThese German-made pencil sharpeners are nifty, and the wildlife graphics are adorable. ($5 at Stubby Pencil Studio / 15% off with code CMPSAVE15 until 8/31/1)[see 9 more great picks and some nice discounts after the jump!] Eco Glue Sticks It’s kind of nice not to...

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The most helpful site for NYC mamas in search of… well, everything

I didn’t have kids yet when I lived in New York, but if I did–or should we ever happen to move back (could happen!)–I’d need some help getting it all together. A toddler bed to fit in a Manhattan apartment? Recommendations for a fabulous nanny? A gently-used city stroller for two? These are things for which you could turn to anonymous classified sites, but would you really want to when there’s a safer, more trustworthy alternative? Blueleo is a site filled with classifieds specifically for parents in the NYC vicinity, including Westchester, New Jersey, Long Island, and Fairfield. In...

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Swedish design as tough as it is pretty

We’re just a few days into summer vacation and  it’s already mud season. Not the kind of mud that’s made by Mother Nature. This stuff is kid-made, by way of a wading pool, a trusty hose, and a patch of mud-ready dirt. It’s given me the perfect excuse to look for a great new rug for the entryway–you know, something eye-catching and color-poppy, but still sturdy enough to withstand wet kid feet. And I believe I’ve found it. I absolutely love the bold, colorful zig-zags and geometrics on these floor runners and rugs from Brita Sweden—so mod.But what’s super cool...

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Mother Goose has gone green

Let’s be real: a lot of old-school nursery rhymes need some updating. Have you ever really listened to “Billy Boy?” (Hey, guy, she is a young thing and cannot leave her mother. Back off!) The world is simply a different place than when Mother Goose first started ruling the roost. So it makes perfect sense that new, tweaked versions of the rhymes would include lines about environmentalism–you know, a hickety-pickety free-range hen happily giving us her cage-free eggs instead of running away because she’s had enough of laying eggs for gentlemen. In The Green Mother Goose: Saving the World One...

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